Early Home of Abraham Lincoln
ARTISTIC AND POETIC
C. S McCullough.
Richard Acton, Chicago.
presenting our work, "PETERSBURG, AND THE EARLY HOME OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN," we
make no claims further than that of its being one of highly artistic merit, with
just such literacy matter as may suffice to give readers a poetic and artistic
description of one of nature's very own beauty spots. The conception was
born in art, and as art ignores anything bordering on to business scheming, so
our venture will avoid everything approaching advertising, or cheap flattery.
Business streets and business blocks, will appear amongst its illustrations as
representing the advancement of our little city, and to many recalling
land-marks of the past. Also a few of the representative residences, side
by side with old time cottages, as a further token of progress, taste,
education, and wealth, together with our churches and schools will be given
But as said above, our work is to be a purely artistic
one, and so its principal features will consist of beautiful landscapes with
which our locality abounds, scenes on the picturesque Sangamon along which each
point of interest will be portrayed; extending such views to old Salem, which
has been made sacred by recollections of that great statesman who first
approached its shores as a flat boatman, and worked there as a clerk in a
country store; and who step by step by his indomitable will and perseverance
attained the highest position which his country could bestow upon him: - a man
of whom Petersburg may well be proud as were the Greeks of their Homer.
With the confident belief, that in issuing such a work,
we have struck a tender cord, we submit our undertaking to the enlightened
judgment of those for whose good taste the work has been prepared, believing
that it will be accepted as a charming souvenir.
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North Side Square, Looking East.
Residence of Mrs. Rachel Frackelton.
View From Residence of Hon. N. W. Branson.
West Side Square, Looking North.
God's Acre, Rose Hill.
The Site of Lincoln's Home.
Oakland Bridge, First Presbyterian Church, Midday in Watkins
Residence of Hon T. W. McNeely.
First Ward School Building.
Residence of J. D. Whitley.
The Sangamon Below Salem Dam.
Residence of Hon. N. W. Branson.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Mrs. A. D. Wright - Mrs. J. G. Fisher.
Mr. Wm. H. Clary - Dr. T. P. Antle.
Looking South From Tower of Cumberland Church.
Bird's-Eye View From Edmund's Springs.
German, Episcopal & Christian Churches.
The Broad Gauge.
Residence of C. B. Lanning.
S. E. Corner Public Square, Looking South.
Residence of Hon. Edward Lanning.
The Sangamon Above Salem Dam.
God's Acre, Oakland Cemetery.
Looking North from Tower of Cumberland Church.
An Idyl of Old Salem
Lincoln's Old Home, at Salem.
Low lies the sun on Salem's stream
In many a quivering deep and shallow,
The scented Maytime is a dream
Wooed by the hour that lovers hallow,
Around the bend, below the mill,
In proud swift curves the silent river
Sweeps from the hills so happy that
Its rippling beauty lives forever.
"Around the Bend, Below the Mill"
In blossoming fragrance rise the banks
Green-tinted to the hill top meadows;
Halfway the road winds round the slope
Now in, now out, sweet scented shadows,
Heartsease, indeed to tired souls,
Such glimpse of God's eternal beauty,
Fit shrine for memory's tenderest song
Of life and love, and death and duty.
"The Road Winds Round the Slope"
Gaily a voice with girlish ring
Seems to the song birds a challenge to fling
As it floats out over the wooded hills,
And dies on the river in happy trills,
Love stirs his gay wings for the village belle
Sings as she goes to the wayside well,
Many nets has the little god spread for snares
To the girlish heart that gaily dares
To defy his power. Stout hearts and true,
Have softened to tenderest speech to sue
For the little hand that swings the pail
As she trips to the well.
"As She Trips to the Well."
Ah! who dare assail
The sweet independence that speaks in her eyes,
In the spring of her step as she vainly tries
To curb her light foot to a dignified pace,
And lessen the radiance of eye and face,
Her whole self a picture of sweet, healthful grace?
Many eyes rest upon her, though modest her own,
And giving their interest to nature alone,
As she lights Salemís hills in a glorious zone
Of the sunsetís own eyes.
Alone and apart Ė
Rugged of form, as fearless of heart;
Upright of soul, as unpractised in art Ė
Young Lincoln hearkens to the maidenís voice
In calm content; and his eyes rejoice
In the lissome figure and speaking face:
In the whole bright vision of womanly grace,
As in after the years when a purpose high
Throbbed in his soul from a nationís cry.
And the courage inherent in body and brain
Questioned no odds, with a goal to gain;
So now, in his youth, what is it to him,
That, homely of face and awkward of limb,
His mates should laugh in gay surprise,
With cruel wit and scoffing eyes,
As he joins the maiden at the well
And reeks not the tale that his face must tell.
Ah, why as he takes the empty pail
From her yielding hand, do the sweet eyes fail
Of their upward glance, and the soft cheeks flush,
When his voice breaks in on the sudden hush
Of her airy song? Why does she feel
From her heart all wit and raillery steal,
For a perfect content she never knew
When handsome lovers came to woo?
Love knows, and his happy wings are furled
In a restful peace through the village world.
View Annaís favor with much amaze
As the sweethearts loiter through the haze
Of the early shadows. Ah! how fleet
Flies the summer of love with hopes that cheat
The darkest nights of blissful dreams
Of the coming days. Old Salem seems
An Eden, indeed, to Lincolnís eyes Ė
Anna Rutledge, the fairest, dearest prize
The round earth bears. Her home on the hill,
The woods, the stream, the gray old mill
Bound every desire of heart and will.
Cold drips the rain on Salemís stream,
The wind-swept maples sigh and shiver,
The hill-side, hooded in the mist,
Shadows in gloom the road and river;
With jealous hand the autumn wind
Strips from the woods their summer decking,
Strews every path with dying leaves
And glories in the wanton wrecking.
Ah, me! ah, me! How bitter sweet
The hours when memory strives to cheat
The hungry heart with the spirit of life
Of vanished days! The desolate strife
Of wind and rain find echo deep
In Lincolnís heart: sad vigil he keeps
Oíer the wreck of his youth, for Anna Rutledge sleeps
In an early grave; and only the rude,
Cold comfort of Salemís solitude
Calms his heart to gentler mood Ė
Summer and sweetheart and love are dead,
And from life itself has beauty fled;
Weary the way oíer meadow and hill,
Where, in proud content, they had wandered at will,
Through those happy hours. The path to the mill
Is lonely indeed; and at every chill
And sudden gust of the autumn rain,
The dead leaves rustle, as if a train
Of phantoms from the summer world
Sought to reclaim the beauty whirled
From shrub and tree. Ah! while he grieves
For the young love dead in her early grave,
The wonderful loom of the Future weaves
The eternal love that a nation gave
To his brave, true heart; for ours the gain.
When, from his loss and bitter pain,
And Salemís sweet memories Ė sad and sweet Ė
He turns his empty heart to meet
Ambitionís prize. On Oaklandís hill
His sweetheart sleeps, and strangers still
Linger to hear, in reverent breath,
The story of her early death
Of the gay, bright girl that Lincoln wooed,
In fair Old Salemís solitude.
His Sweetheart Sleeps.
Ah, well! what more? Could we but know
Whether in tide of the after years,
When a nation's love of his brave heart cheers,
And his strong soul tempers a nation's woe.
That the thought of old Salem's woods and stream,
His early life and its sweet love dream
Were dear to him; yet, to us, perchance,
They were fairer still, if ought could enchance
Their sunlit beauty.
The mill is gone,
And only here and there a stone
Tells where it stood; but still we trace,
Through shrubs that meet and interlace,
The old foot-path. Naught now to tell
Of village store or wayside well,
Save the tall and stately symbol-trees
That spring from the site of Lincoln's home
On the crest of the hill. With every breeze
They proudly wave toward earth's blue dome;
And we know, in their union the wide earth sees
God's type of the grandest of earth's decrees.
Dear to our hearts is Lincoln's name:
His strong, pure life and deathless fame;
Dear to us still this early home.
And so, while its leafy aisles we roam,
What wonder we listen with reverent ear,
And fancy, in wordless voices, we hear
From the river, the woods and hills above
The tender tale of his early love.
MAGGIE S. MILLER CHEANEY.
"The Old Foot Path"
Lincoln's Old Mill.
OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
This beautiful village hemmed in by the river,
With hills all around it disturbing the plane,
The rich mellow landscape, the blue sky above it
In peace and contentment its people do reign.
Nature's spoiled pet of the Prairie State,
Is this beautiful village among the green hills;
It stands on the bank of the Sangamon River,
And its pulses throb ever in the many old mills.
Here the trains climb the hills like serpents,
The smoke ascends in a feathery cloud;
And floats out under the valley beneath it
Enveloping the scene like a great sable shroud.
A mile up the river is the home of Abe Lincoln
"New Salem," on the brow of a beautiful hill,
Near it the river flows on forever,
And birds sing requiems to his memory still.
Copyright © 2008 Jeanie Lowe & contributors
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